Wycombe Labour today made a scathing attack on the proposal by the Sir William Borlase Grammar School to build an “extension” in Maidenhead and on comments by Cllr Zahir Mohammed, BCC’s Cabinet member for Education.
Rachel Knight, Wycombe Labour’s spokesperson for education said, “I am both saddened and angry to read about Cllr Zahir Mohammed's unequivocal support for plans to extend Bucks' existing grammar schools. It serves as a stark reminder of the elitist attitude of some of the powers that be in Bucks.
His comments show a complete lack of appreciation for the many families across Bucks who will have received the news last week that their 10 year old did not pass the 'eleven plus' exam and are still working hard to limit the damage caused by feelings of disappointment, inadequacy and uncertainty about what secondary school they might now be faced with.
He gives no consideration to recent statistics and reports which have confirmed that in 2015 in Buckinghamshire, the grammar school system remains biased towards those with pre-existing privilege, does nothing for social mobility and creates a divide between children that is unnecessary and potentially harmful. In addition to this, more out of county children than ever are qualifying for our grammar schools.
As our community leaders and decision makers, it is high time that representatives of Bucks County Council stopped giving unconsidered support for systems that serve the interests of the privileged minority and began leading the way by focusing their rhetoric and resources on pushing for excellent schools and education for all of our children in Buckinghamshire.
Shame on you Cllr Zahir Mohammed!”
The Royal Borough of Winsor and Maidenhead are to be asked on Thursday to approve £200, 000 for preliminary work to expand Sir William Borlase Grammar School into Maidenhead. The money would pay for a consultation, searching for a site and work to see if the plan is viable.
Sir William Borlase Grammar School is a private sector company limited by guarantee.
Parents of children who live in the catchment area of the proposed grammar school have the right to vote on any proposal to introduce selective education. Secondary schools that will be affected by the proposed grammar school should have the right to vote on any proposal to introduce selective education before the £200,000 is allocated to this divisive plan.
Maidenhead Labour Party has said that spending £200 000 of taxpayers’ money to help open a new grammar school would be “an appalling waste of money”.